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These are the Five Best Places to Down a Cocktail in Delhi

You can always count on these five bars to whip up the best cocktails in Delhi.

Updated
Food
4 min read
You can count on these five bars to whip up a great cocktail every single time. (Photo Courtesy:

You’d think it would be real easy to find a well made Martini or Whisky Sour in the city –but save for a few pricey five-star bars it’s slim pickings.

I’ve done my homework though and here are five bars that you can count on to whip up a great cocktail. Every. Single. Time.

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Ek Bar

The City of Nizam. (Photo Courtesy: Ek Bar)
The City of Nizam. (Photo Courtesy: Ek Bar)

This quirky bar and restaurant is an ode to all things Indian – from its kitsch artwork to its historically inspired cocktail menu.

One of the most experienced mixologists in town, Nitin Tiwari was instrumental in putting together the cocktail list – and his trusty bartender team upholds the mantle well. The list is split across four sections, each named after cards from a deck – Ekka, Badshah, Begum and Ghulam.

Indian Rebellion of 1857. (Photo Courtesy: Ek Bar)
Indian Rebellion of 1857. (Photo Courtesy: Ek Bar)

All the concoctions have a desi twist to them. Swap the Moscow Mule for a Murabba Mule, or try the kahwa tea and pink grapefruit-based The Royal Indian Punch, which also makes for a real pretty cup!

Gin lovers will like The City of Nizam, a turmeric-infused gin topped up with tonic. Ek Bar is also good with the classics that aren’t on the menu. They make a mean Old Cuban – rum, fizz, bitters and happiness!

The Royal Indian Punch. (Photo Courtesy: Ek Bar)
The Royal Indian Punch. (Photo Courtesy: Ek Bar)

Address: D -17, First Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi

Perch

Yes, it’s a wine and coffee bar, but don’t underestimate the cocktails here. Bartenders Ani Sharma and Annu Jha are extremely skilled at what they do and supply an interesting cocktail list.

The interiors of Perch. (Photo Courtesy: Perch)
The interiors of Perch. (Photo Courtesy: Perch)

If you’d like to try a wine cocktail, order the Rum Bunch, a combination of wine, rum, orange juice, egg white and lime with a rosemary garnish.

Among the signatures, The Bourbon Toast is a quirky mix of American whiskey, orange juice, egg white and camomile – basically breakfast in a glass.

It might be a wine and coffee bar, but don’t underestimate the cocktails here. (Photo Courtesy: Perch)
It might be a wine and coffee bar, but don’t underestimate the cocktails here. (Photo Courtesy: Perch)

A cocktail that certainly packs in the punch while still being elegant is the Reverse Martini: a heady mix of gin, vermouth and absinthe, not to be trifled with! A more summery, daytime concoction is the Eldertree with vodka, gin, elderflower, cucumber and lime, topped off with tonic – a nice balance of sweet, sour and bitter flavours.

Address: 71, Khan Market, New Delhi

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PCO

There’s an endearing elegance to everything about the place. (Photo Courtesy: PCO)
There’s an endearing elegance to everything about the place. (Photo Courtesy: PCO)

For long, PCO has been everyone’s favourite cocktail bar. Speakeasy-styled, there’s an endearing elegance to everything about the place – from its hideaway entrance to the themed décor and even the easy jazz tunes. PCO’s cocktail list has always focused on prohibition cocktails (those that were invented during America’s misguided prohibition) and they do them faultlessly.

PCO’s cocktail list has always focused on prohibition cocktails. (Photo Courtesy: PCO)
PCO’s cocktail list has always focused on prohibition cocktails. (Photo Courtesy: PCO)

The chalkboard above the bar will announce the specials of the day and you’d be wise to take their advice. Every now and then they have cocktails that are aged in small oak barrels. The Aged Negroni and The Aged Manhattan are both really good.

The chalkboard above the bar announces the specials of the day. (Photo Courtesy: PCO)
The chalkboard above the bar announces the specials of the day. (Photo Courtesy: PCO)

The bar also houses an expansive number of bitters both commercial and homemade – so on a day you want something simple, even a G+T with a generous sprinkling of your bitter of choice hits the spot just right.

Address: D-4, D Block Market, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi

ATM

In the same vein as PCO, À Ta Maison, or ATM, is a member’s only club with an enviable bar.

ATM makes for a really pretty and comfortable workspace. (Photo Courtesy: ATM)
ATM makes for a really pretty and comfortable workspace. (Photo Courtesy: ATM)

Part of the same group, ATM provides all the expertise of PCO with added discretion. Their Twisted Old Fashioned employs Bourbon, vanilla syrup and a red wine reduction – while their Espresso Martini has a healthy dose of Valrhona Chocolate!

The best part is that it is open through the day and makes for a really pretty and comfortable workspace. (Those emails will seem a lot easier paired with the perfect Negroni, I promise.)

Address: 21, First Floor, Sunder Nagar Market, New Delhi

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Smokey’s BBQ & Grill

If you want a fun, slightly noisy night out with friends over cocktails and music, Smokey’s comes through.

Deconstructed Watermelon Capriojska. (Photo Courtesy: Smokey’s BBQ & Grill)
Deconstructed Watermelon Capriojska. (Photo Courtesy: Smokey’s BBQ & Grill)

Their cocktail list consists of slight twists to classic cocktails like The New Old Fashioned, which adds fresh mandarin and basil, or the Deconstructed Watermelon Capriojska, which is pretty self-explanatory.

Lock, Stock & A Smokin’ Barrel is one of the most popular drinks. (Photo Courtesy: Smokey’s BBQ & Grill) 
Lock, Stock & A Smokin’ Barrel is one of the most popular drinks. (Photo Courtesy: Smokey’s BBQ & Grill) 

One of their most popular is Lock, Stock & A Smokin’ Barrel which is a vodka-based drink with a combination of smoked pineapples, cardamom and vanilla.

There is also the exquisite-looking Burn Bourbon Burn – a bourbon-whiskey based drink made of apple and maple.

Burn Bourbon Burn is an exquisite-looking cocktail. (Photo Courtesy: Smokey’s BBQ & Grill)
Burn Bourbon Burn is an exquisite-looking cocktail. (Photo Courtesy: Smokey’s BBQ & Grill)

Address: Khan Market and GK2

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